10 Tips for Google AdWords

By Terry Whalen     1 comments     Add your comments

Improve your AdWords PPC management by following these ten important tips from an SEM expert.


Tip 1 – The AdWords Keyword Tool is a great starting point for keyword discovery, given that Google is very good at the keyword (kw) relevancy game. Since a majority of searchers use Google and its partners, the idea is to ‘go to the source’ for kw lists based on actual user searches. Simply input seed kw’s and Google will spit out additional relevant kw ideas. Access the Keyword Tool at the top of the kw list in any ad group.

Tip 2 – Use the Search Query report to further expand and refine your kw lists. This report has been much improved, and now displays more granular data. Focus on search queries that have received conversions, rather than just impressions or clicks. Add queries with match type showing as ‘broad’ or ‘phrase’ to appropriate ad groups. Bid based on query CPA and average CPCs.

Tip 3 – Mine Google Analytics, Omniture, or other web analytics reporting systems for kw ideas. Focus on organic kw’s that have resulted not only in clicks, but in conversions, goals, and measurable value. In Google Analytics, select Traffic Sources, then Keywords, then click on non-paid, and lastly select the Goal Conversion tab.

Tip 4 – Use all 3 match types: broad, phrase, and exact. Using all 3 match types gives the advertiser greater visibility and control into their campaigns. Add phrase and exact match for kw’s that show a high volume of impressions, clicks, cost or conversions – or for kw’s that are core to your business.


Tip 5 – Test Keyword Insertion (KWI) in text ads. KWI automatically inserts the user’s search query into the text of the ad. KWI can be used in headlines or in lines 1-2. Test KWI cautiously, and only in ad groups that exclude high-volume, broad match keywords. Example headline: {KeyWord:Hire PHP Developers}.

Tip 6 – Set ad-serving to rotate(!) Ads must be rotated evenly in order to be tested properly against each other. AdWords defaults to serve higher-CTR ads more often than lower-CTR ads; this makes more money for Google at the expense of the advertiser.  This option is found in Campaign Settings.

Tip 7 – Remember ad text basics: highlight the advertiser value proposition; incorporate relevant ad group kw’s within ad text; use a compelling offer (e.g. $10 off purchases of $50+); and include a call-to-action or implied call-to-action (e.g. Learn how to improve your PPC campaigns – Free white paper).


Tip 8 – A simple account structure benefits day-to-day navigation, management and bid optimization. Consider separate campaigns for breaking out geo-targets, differentiating between different target metrics, or for reporting purposes. Always run Content campaigns separately. This is acknowledged best practices, since Content is an altogether different medium vs. Search.


Tip 9 – Download and use AdWords Editor (AE) for: bid optimization; ad creation and optimization; creating new campaigns; adding kw’s in bulk to multiple campaigns and ad groups; modifying destination URLs for conversion tracking, and much more. Download AdWords Editor here.


Tip 10 – Start simple and small, and go where the data takes you. PPC is an iterative activity. The data determines next steps. If you started with one campaign composed of five ad groups, expand the ad groups that show click and conversion activity and leave the others for later. Over time, advance to complex and large. Expand kw’s, ad groups and campaigns based on what has worked. In terms of time and effort, feed the winners and starve the losers. This approach will help you best focus your time and make you (or your client) more money!

---Terry Whalen, terry [at] cpcsearch.com
Principal at CPC Search, a full-service SEM agency.

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Great Tips!

From: BNE, 06/19/09

Super helpful and very easy to understand. Thanks!